Conservative law group sues Department of Justice for allegedly ignoring public-records requests

Oliver Darcy, provided by Published 4:28 pm, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

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A conservative-leaning law group on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, alleging the federal agency violated the law by ignoring Freedom of Information Act requests for records related to Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton.

“We’re forcing their hand,” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, wrote in a blog post announcing the lawsuit.

Sekulow added: “We’re taking the Obama Administration to federal court. Again. We’re filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, to ensure true justice.”

The ACLJ initially sent FOIA requests to the DOJ requesting information on Lynch’s meeting with Clinton.

The records requested included documents “containing any discussion of or in any way regarding the meeting between” the two at the Phoenix airport and electronic communications “containing any discussion of or in any way naming, regarding, involving or referring Clinton.”

The DOJ “wholly failed to respond” to the FOIA requests, the ACLJ said in its complaint. The law firm accused the DOJ of violating two statues requiring federal agencies to respond to public records requests.

“The bottom line of our lawsuit is this: the ‘Defendant is unlawfully withholding records requested by Plaintiff pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552,’” Sekulow wrote. “The Justice Department’s answer to our suit will be due in about 30 days.”

Critics of Hillary Clinton, including Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, have suggested that Bill Clinton’s meeting on the Arizona tarmac with Lynch was somehow related to getting Hillary Clinton off the hook from the FBI’s email investigation into her private server.

The lawsuit came days after FBI Director James Comey announced that it had reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server, a move that was reportedly at odds with Lynch's wishes.

DOJ sued for ignoring public-records requests - Business Insider